President János Áder, in his New Year’s address, said 2021 should be a year when Hungarians feel grateful for lives saved and “touching moments of helping each other”. The coronavirus pandemic has left its mark on the New Year holiday, Áder said in his speech televised at midnight. All festivities departed from tradition due to the pandemic last year, he noted. “This time last year, we wished each other a Happy New Year without a care in the world,” he said. However, the happy confidence of the year’s start gave way to fear and uncertainty in a matter of weeks, he said. “Hardly anyone has been left untouched by the epidemic,” he said. Everyone is yearning to return to a life “with the gifts, freedoms and possibilities we all took for granted”.
Áder praised the “heroic” work of health-care staff, “making life-saving decisions even now, in the first hours of the new year.” “Can we ever repay them? Is it even possible to make up for this never-ending shift?” Áder called on Hungarians to be grateful for the work and perseverance of health-care and social services workers, to scientists for “helping us to get to know this hitherto unknown enemy, and for working on the vaccine.” Thanks, he said, were also due to teachers for adapting to an ever-changing situation and putting their hearts and souls into their work. “Let us be grateful to those working in the fields and factories, shop assistants, suppliers and law-enforcement officials, because their work kept the country going,” he said.
He called on Hungarians to show gratitude by “offering words of comfort, thanks, by showing discipline, being attentive, by accepting the truth, adhering to regulations and by putting our own wishes and interests on the back burner.”
“Let there be fewer questions and more acceptance, less doubt and more trust,” he said. Citing Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, Áder asked Hungarians to “appreciate those who diligently labour among you.” “For that endeavour, I wish all of us strength, more patience, healing in body and spirit, and good health in the new year,” Áder ended his speech.